News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday February 16th 2019

‘Breakaway’ taxi association hikes prices

Taxi associations in the City. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN

While the majority of Western Cape taxi associations have maintained their taxi fares following the recent fuel price hikes, one taxi association has broken ranks and raised fares by R1 for local routes and R10 for long distance routes.

The hike by the Bellta Taxi Association (BTA) operating in Bellville, Kraaifontein, Stellenbosch, Brackenfell and Mowbray came into effect today. 

Despite the petrol price having jumped by 93c and diesel by 69c on September 5, and rising a further 21c and 39c respectively on October 3, the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Associatin (CATA) – an umbrella body of 25 taxi associations in the Cape – has not increased fares since December last year.

But Bellta has decided to breakaway from CATA, which is itself an affiliate of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) Western Cape branch.

BTA spokesperson Mvuyasi Mente said his association had a fleet of 1200 taxis run by 400 owners which also operated the long distance routes to Hermanus, George and Knysna amongst others.

He said recent fuel price hikes had forced them to raise their fares.

But CATA General Secretary Nqazeleni Matayitayi said CATA other affiliated associations had not raised their fares.

No discussions on fare increases had taken place and Mente was “doing his own thing”, said Matayitayi.

This was collaborated by Santaco Western Cape branch spokesperson Robert Langebarie who said the BTA’s fare increase “doesn’t carry the approval of the umbrella body CATA”.

Even the Cape Organisation for Democratic Taxi Association (CODETA), who were “technically” not members of CATA had not raised their fares, said Langebarie.

However Mente said Langebarie and Matayitayi “were talking nonsense” in accusing BTA from breaking away from CATA, claiming that he initially founded CATA in the early ’90s.

Langebarie admitted it was difficult for Santaco to regulate taxi fare prices across all associations as fares differed between associations and from area to area.

Matayitayi said CATA and CODETA, which operated predominantly in the Cape Flats in the Cape Metro South East would hold a strategic workshop tomorrow, Friday 2 November, and the issue of a price hike “might be raised as a starting point”. — Peter Luhanga

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